February 24th, 2017
Ron in Texas asks:
I wanted to run this idea by you and your readers. I live in a small Texas border town and do RE photography (still and drone) as a retirement supplement, and there are a limited number of high-end homes to shoot here. I stay reasonably busy, but could always use a little more business. Recently, a broker who really likes my work asked me if there was any way I could offer a discounted package for some of her agents who typically sell medium-priced homes and can’t afford my fee ($125 for the basic 25 image+ pkg).
I thought about it, but I just couldn’t come up with a solution that wouldn’t be almost as much work as the full pkg, and that wouldn’t diminish my brand. Today, I had a brainstorm. Since such a HUGE chunk of my post-processing time is devoted to color correction, what about doing RE in black and white? Right now I do a simple Lightroom workflow with their HDR process (no lights), and in order to get decent images, I spend a lot of time balancing out color casts, etc. If I could just do a black & white conversion on my RE images (the discounted ones), for me it would easily save me enough time to justify a decent discount. Have you heard of anyone doing this, or do you think this is a nutty idea? When I see the awful yellow color cast (almost monochromatic) images that agents typically take and post on the MLS, I think a good B&W would be a huge big upgrade! I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know what you think of this crazy idea.
I have to be honest. Delivering B&W real estate photos is a BAD idea! Everyone on the planet expects color marketing photos. People’s expectations of marketing images are driven by the color images in the media. Even newspapers use color images.
The root of your problem is using HDR with no lights!! All those wacky color casts that you struggle to remove can be easily eliminated if you just use one manual flash when shooting your brackets. See this blog post that explains the details.